The Republic of Panama has a
population of 3 million people,
with a large percentage living
below the poverty line.
At present, it is estimated
that Panama has more than
15,000 untreated cases of
cerebral palsy, roughly double
the percentage of cases per
capita as exhibited by other
developed countries. Cerebral
palsy is the most common disability in Panama. Sadly, the vast majority of
cases go untreated due to prohibitively expensive medical care and
treatment, lack of education, and inadequate resources. Additionally, the
total number of cases continues to increase yearly due to the continued
lack of awareness about the disorder, and the absence of measures to
prevent it from occurring, especially in rural areas.
Women still do not
visit a doctor during their pregnancy, nor do most Panamanian schools
provide a suitable environment in which children with cerebral palsy can be
educated. Lack of education about this and other disabilities coupled with
a challenged economy make many parts of daily life, such as education,
transportation, and social interaction, inaccessible to people with
disabilities. In fact, many disabled people are confined to their homes.